Monday, October 11, 2010
You Will Be Assimilated
:The best denominations may be understood simply as networked cooperative relationships for mission. But they are not just networked across geography and methodology. They are also networked across time--and a group working across time and generations can accomplish more than a group working for one season.Uh, no - a denomination seeks to be THE CHURCH, congregations are individual expressions thereof. In choosing to define denomination in this manner, Stetzer identities the key problem in most of Evangelicalism today - it's not about me or you. It's about God and US - and by the way, that implies authority, not "network" - some thing we are really uncomfortable with.
Of course, we tend to want to blame those in authority for the problems becasue they abuse that authority. I know I feel that way as my own church struggles with its authorities wanted to do things like ordain practicing homosexuals. But abuse of authority is no reason not to submit to authority. There are times we must break, obviously I believe so or else I would not be Protestant, but it must be done carefully and it must be done with an eye to someday restoring the true church. "Networking" ain't going to get us there.
Stetzer does; however, hit the real problem squarely on the head:
In truth, the problems that we have cannot be blamed on denominational structures alone, but rather on the fact that all denominations are made up of sinners who are saved by grace.A fact which points out the true and real value of denomination - accountability. In fact, I think that defines the time when separation becomes necessary, when the church fails in that function.
Stetzer has some interesting things to say here and he makes some important points, maybe even practical ones. But we cannot let out practicality override our vision completely. We must hold the ideal while we do the possible. We are one body - at least we should be struggling to be.